Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog
Author: Anne Blankman
Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog #1
Genre: YA Historical, Mystery
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Release Date: April 22nd 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: eARC received at part of a Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review
Amazon | Apple | TBD | Goodreads
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.
Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.
And Gretchen follows his every command.
Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.
As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
I love history, and especially for some reason, history of WWII, so when I read the synopsis of Prisoner of Night and Fog I knew I wanted to read it, and I am so glad that I did because I loved this book for many reasons, and one of those reasons was the history, but another reason were the characters, and not just the Main Character, but the secondary characters as well.
This book in one way about Hitler and his life before he became the face of Germany, and on the other hand it is about Gretchen and her journey through her grief and discovery of who Hitler really was and the effect he had on the people around her. The detail and amount of research that went into this book blew me away. I never at any point felt like the author was dumping info into my lap, it came gradually and I loved that about this book. At times it felt like I was there with Gretchen, weaving in and out of the streets of Germany and at times, interacting with her "Uncle Dolf."
The secondary characters were the best part for me because I felt they were the real story. I especially loved Gretchen's brother because he was the meanest character i think I have ever read in YA, ever. He was sadistic, threatening and a psychopath. This was the first time I have read a character like him and I honestly did not know I could hate someone that much, but i did. And I think the most frustrating part of reading his character was that no one believed Gretchen when she told them about her brother and how horrible he was to not only Jews but her as well.
Now, there is a love story in this novel and I really liked it because i felt like it wasn't overwhelming me as a reader and yet it made sense for Gretchen's character. Daniel was the exact opposite of her and her beliefs, but when he tells her that her fathers death was a murder she begins to think differently and therefore her feelings change. He becomes the only one she can trust and I thought that relationship was a great distraction from the Hitler aspect of the story.
If you are at all interested in WWII history please pick up this book because it will give you an inside look at what happened behind the scenes. And you will definitely fall in love with the characters in this book, it is quite hard not to root for Gretchen and Daniel and I really am looking forward to reading more in this series!
About the Author
Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She grew up in an old house with gables (gray, unfortunately) in upstate New York. When she wasn't writing or reading, she was rowing on the crew team, taking ballet lessons, fencing and swimming. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction.
After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's playing with her daughter, training for races with her husband, working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.
Anne Blankman is the author of PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG, the first in a three-book deal slated for publication in spring 2014 from Balzer + Bray | HarperCollins. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.